Joe Corcoran

Morning Edition host; Reporter/Producer

Joe Corcoran has been WKU Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” host and news anchor since 2003. Joe’s received numerous awards for his on-air work including the Associated Press’s “Best Radio News Anchor in Kentucky” twice. Several of his stories have aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered”.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Joe spent most of his career in television journalism both on-air and in management at stations in North Carolina, Iowa and Illinois.

In Bowling Green, Joe is active in his church as well as with the Bowling Green Area of Commerce. He is on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Associated Press.

He and his wife Patricia are the proud parents of three children and the “extremely” proud grandparents of two granddaughters, Claire and Vivian.

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Western Kentucky University president Gary Ransdell says the school will tap into the University Reserve Fund to meet mandated budget cuts ordered by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin ordered an immediate 4.5% cut to all higher education funding. For WKU, that amounts to a little over $3.3 million.

In an email to WKU faculty and staff Monday afternoon, Ransdell wrote the timing of the budget cuts left him with no other choice but to take the money from the Reserve Fund. "Given the lateness in the fiscal year and the extraordinary circumstances that would be required of the campus to reduce campus operating budgets that have already been obligated," he wrote, " we have decided the best course of action is to seek approval at the April Board of Regents' meeting to draw down the University Reserve Fund to carry us through the end of the fiscal year."

The Western Kentucky University women's basketball season came to a close Sunday night as the Lady Hilltoppers lost to South Dakota 68 - 54 in the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitational Tournament.

The Lady Tops finish the season with a 27 - 7 record, they're 103 - 32 overall under the first four years of head coach Michelle Clark Heard's leadership.

Kendall Noble led Western with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Tashia Brown added 12 points.

Trailing by nine points going into the fourth quarter, Brown's jumper got her team within seven points but with 8:55 to play but WKU was unable to get any closer.

Ivy Brown fell just short of her second consecutive double - double with 8 points and 10 rebounds.

Joe Corcoran / WKU Public Radio

The Screaming Eagles of Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division Air Assault are once again in harm’s way on foreign soil. Five hundred soldiers are in Iraq and Kuwait on an advisory mission, called Operation Inherent Resolve, aimed at helping the Iraqis in their fight against the terrorist group ISIS.

The troops’ official departure ceremony was hard on their family members. It was also hard on the feelings of those off base who've seen it all before.

At a recent Casing the Colors ceremony, service members from Fort Campbell packed up the unit’s flags and pennants and prepared them for their journey to the Middle East. The symbols of unit pride and identity are then unfurled in foreign war zones to signify a new base of operations.

Speaking to soldiers and family members in attendance at the base, Staff Sergeant Cara Duda read from the ceremony's official history. "The very soul of a military unit is symbolized by the colors under which it fights," she said. "They record the glories of the past, stand guard over its present destiny and insure inspiration for its future. Today the colors serve as a binding symbol of continuity and a point of inspiration for the future. Commanders and soldiers come and go but the colors will remain steadfast."

WKU Athletics

The WKU womens' basketball team beat Dayton 89- 72 at E. A. Diddle Arena in their opening round game of the Women's National Invitational Tournament. WKU was led by Conference USA Player of the Year Kendall Noble's 27 points.

They'll stay home to play their second round game Monday night at 7:00 pm central time against UT-Martin. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 1981.

During Thursday night's game, Noble got most of her points at the free throw line hitting, 17 out of 18 attempts. That's the fourth most free throws in a single game in WKU history. They were the most in a game for the Lady Toppers since 2008.

Kentucky State Police say Ben Wyatt has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting a Simpson County Sheriff's Deputy Thursday who was attempting to serve Wyatt with a warrant.

Wyatt was being held in the Simpson County Detention Center where he was also served with a bench warrant for Failure to Appear.

Kentucky State Police says Wyatt fired on the deputy, Eddie Lawson, striking him twice. The deputy was able to return fire and hit Wyatt once in the left arm.

The suspect fled but was quickly apprehended, and both he and the deputy were hospitalized.

Deputy Lawson was taken to Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, where he was in stable condition.

Wyatt was treated at the Medical Center in Bowling Green.

KSP photo

One inmate has been captured, but another is still at large after they walked about from a Warren County Regional Jail work detail Monday afternoon.

Kentucky State Police said in a news release that 25 year old Bates Cole was taken into custody overnight. The search is still underway for 23 year old Anthony Embry.

Embry, of Morgantown, is described as 5'3" tall and 170 pounds. He has brown hair that may possibly be shaved and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown hoodie, white t-shirt and blue jeans.

Embry was being held in jail on charges of Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Giving an Officer a False name or Address and Probation Violation. Bates was being held for a Parole Violation.

Joe Corcoran, WKU Public Radio

Owensboro is stepping up its mission to become the nation’s bluegrass music capital. Construction of a new downtown performance center and museum is set to start this spring to go along with the city’s thriving local music scene.

Also, a program in local schools is looking to create new fans for bluegrass long into the future.

At Sutton Elementary in Owensboro, 400 students recently sat cross-legged on the cafeteria floor. They clapped along to a bluegrass band called the Rigs. The band performed as a part of a program created by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro.

It’s called Bluegrass in the Schools, and it’s been bringing the music to students since 2003.

Tom Stites, the fine arts coordinator for Owensboro Public Schools, said the goal of Bluegrass in the Schools is to encourage a new generation of bluegrass fans and musicians and performances like this make the most of a unique Kentucky heritage. “It’s a chance for our children to connect with their culture, because the bluegrass roots run so very deep here," he said.  "And it’s not part of what our children experience every single day in their lives. I think it’s important that they continue to be connected with their background and where bluegrass came from.”


In an e-mail to faculty and staff late Wednesday afternoon, WKU President Gary Ransdell said Governor Matt Bevin's proposed budget cuts to higher education present a substantial challenge to the university.

Bevin's proposal calls for a 4.5 percent budget cut this fiscal year. That translates to $3.3 million out of WKU's budget by the end of June. Nine percent reductions would go into effect after that.

"There are many details of this plan that are yet to be understood, and with regard to performance funding, those details have yet to be defined," Ransdell said in his message. "So we are a long way from fully knowing how WKU will be impacted by these proposals.  I am confident, however, that WKU will fare well in any measure that is outcome or performance based.

Ransdell says the budget contains at least one bright spot for WKU. Gov. Bevin's budget proposal contains an equity funding appropriation for both WKU and Northern Kentucky University. Ransdell says the appropriation would held "level the playing field for our students who are paying a disproportionate share of their education in comparison to students at other Kentucky universities."

Flickr/Creative Commons

A new collaborative effort in Warren County is looking to train workers to fill high-tech manufacturing jobs in the region.

The South Central Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center includes businesses, schools, employment agencies and non-profits.

The center will train up to 16 people at a time at South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College. Courses are to begin at the center Feb. 2.

Students will take a 12-week course focusing on the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Kevin Willis

Bowling Green is partnering with a Nashville company to provide health care for city employees and their dependents.

The City Care Center will open Friday in 1,100 square feet of renovated space in the city hall annex.

Mayor Bruce Wilkerson says the city expects to save as much as $125,000 a year in health care costs with the new arrangement.

The care center will initially be staffed by a registered nurse for 20 hours a week.

Dr. Jane Gibson will be on site 16 hours a week.

"We've tried to make the hours somewhat flexible to accommodate employees,” Dr. Gibson said. “So we open early at 7:00 in the morning one day, and we stay until 6:00 another day, and work through lunch hours. It helps get people in without missing work."

Flickr/Creative Commons/Piano! Piano!

David Bowie is being remembered by a Kentucky guitarist as one of the most influential and innovative rock stars ever.

Bowie died at the age of 69 Sunday after a bout with cancer.

Kentucky Headhunters guitarist Greg Martin told WKU Public Radio he’s been in awe of Bowie’s music for decades. But Martin admitted he didn’t immediately understand everything Bowie was doing musically.

"There were some things that just went over my head early on,” Martin said. “But there's been some times in the past ten years, when my mind was a little more open like it should be, and I'd catch some things on the radio, and I’d think this guy is right up there with the Beatles."

NPR: Bowie Wrote Anthems for the Alienated

Martin says he and his band mates were honored to meet Bowie at a record convention in the early 1990s.

“I'm happy to say we did have a brush with him early on in our career, and that's something we will always cherish, getting to talk to him."

Bowie passed away just two days after releasing a new album called Darkstar.

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WKU athletic director Todd Stewart says if they ever make another "Back To The Future" movie sequel and he's in it, he's want to come back to December 5th  and 6th of 2015.

Saturday the Hilltoppers wrapped up an 11-2 season and a Conference USA championship by beating Southern Mississippi. Sunday the team accepted an invitation to play South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl on December 21st against a team coached by former WKU head coach and quarterback Willie Taggert.  They then learned they cracked the Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time in school history, finishing the regular season ranked #25. Stewart called the weekend "a remarkable time for us."

Stewart and head coach Jeff Brohm are especially excited about playing in the Miami Beach Bowl on the 21st. It's one of the first bowl games of the season and the only college football game that'll be played that day. They say the ESPN national telecast will give Western great national exposure to alumni and possible future recruits.

The location of the game in Miami Beach will also make it attractive for family and fans to attend, a welcome relief after playing bowl games in the Bahamas and in Detroit the last two years.

Darius Barati, WKU PBS

Both sophomores Natalie Webb of Louisville and Kaitlin Weyman of Alexandria say they're glad to be alive following the terrorist attacks that killed 129 people.

The two are spending this semester studying abroad at Harlaxton College in England about an hour north of London. They took a quick sight-seeing trip to Paris the weekend of the attacks.

Even though they were in the middle of the city that night, Webb told WKU Public Radio they didn't realize how serious the attacks were until they got back to their hotel room.  The hardest part of the ordeal was not knowing what was going to happen next. "There were three of us in the room and we were all crying at one point, we were panicking because we didn't know if we were going to be next," she said, "We didn't know if it was over, if it was still happening. We had no way to know where it was because information was so spotty."

And Webb says the rest of the weekend was just as stressful. "We were worried about people on the street. I was terrified to be in a restaurant, in a public place. It affected how we saw things."

Both young women were able to fly out of Paris and back to London safely Sunday morning. They say the got to Charles de Gaulle Airport six hours early to make sure they'd make it on time.

Bowling Green police and state police troopers are looking for a Bowling Green man they say dragged a city police officer in his car during an attempted arrest overnight.

Both city and state police fired shots at 30 year old Adrian Barnes and a woman who was with him, it’s not known if they were hit.

Detectives with the Warren County Drug Task Force and State police drug enforcement located Barnes in a Dollar General parking lot on KY 185 last night and were in the process of arresting him on previous charges when they say he took off in his Ford Explorer dragging a police officer with him for a short distance. That’s when two officers fired shots at Barnes.

His vehicle was found abandoned near the scene a short time later on Double Springs Road.

Police have added assault charges to Barnes on top of the drug related charges they were originally trying to arrest him for.

Police say Barnes is considered dangerous and anyone with any information is asked to call police.